STUDIO FOR ORGANIZATIONAL FUTURES

STUDIO FOR ORGANIZATIONAL FUTURES

CASE STUDY

CASE STUDY

USC School of Architecture

USC School of Architecture

USC-6

A culture and communications strategy to transform the USC School of Architecture into the nation’s leading academic cultural institution.

A culture and communications strategy to transform the USC School of Architecture into the nation’s leading academic cultural institution.

ORIGINAL BRIEF 

Collaborated with Commonwealth Projects on the creation of a new graphic identity and website for the USC School of Architecture. While the project resulted in vital improvements to the school's identity, there were missed opportunities to overhaul the school's culture and communications infrastructure—its tools and methods of management—and transform the school into the nation's leading academic cultural institution.

Collaborated with Commonwealth Projects on the creation of a new civic plaza, bookstore, and museum entrance for the Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The project resulted in critical improvements to one of the museum's most iconic buildings, however there were missed opportunities to overhaul the museum's customer and employee experience and transform MOCA into a cultural leader in Los Angeles.

BACKGROUND

The USC School of Architecture is considered one of Southern California’s most esteemed architecture and design programs. The school's diverse academic offerings, commitment to scholarship and professional practice, and history as a civic leader in Los Angeles attract a global population of students and faculty.

In 2017 the USC School of Architecture was in need of an identity reboot. Outgoing leadership left the school without a galvanizing culture and communications infrastructure. Despite its academic prowess, the school was failing to attract the right faculty and students, communicate as a cohesive organization, and cohere a distinguished community around its progressive initiatives. That is why USC Architecture hired Dean Milton S.F. Curry in 2017 to lead the school through critical transformations.

STUDIO OF APPROACH

Had Studio Of led the transformation, the School would be equipped not only with a new graphic identity and website, but also with broader culture and identity guidelines, additional communication tools and methods, and more nuanced approaches to programming and outreach—necessary improvements to sustain the Dean's vision for change.

MILESTONE 1: VISIONING

Dean Curry's directive was to transform the USC School of Architecture into the nation's preeminent academic cultural institution. Studio Of's vision for change would propose unifying the school's identity and voice and positioning the process, dialogue, and social life of the school as crucial outputs and aesthetics of the institution's practice. To become an academic cultural institution, USC Architecture required not only a rebranding of the school but also the tools and methods to promote a grand vision for architectural practice and education.

MILESTONE 2: STRATEGY

Working hand-in-hand with USC Architecture's leadership teams, while conducting in-depth research into the school's history, operations, and aspirations, Studio Of would establish a strategy for design-policy futures that would overhaul the School's culture and communications by:
• Codifying the school’s cultural practice and graphic identity.
• Reinforcing the school’s recruiting, fundraising, and educational initiatives.
• Amplifying the school’s civic leadership.

MILESTONE 3: IMPLEMENTATION

Studio Of would work with key partners to implement the tools and methods for transforming the school's culture and communications by creating the following:

Culture and Identity Guidelines: Culture and identity guidelines shape how the school’s cultural values are reflected in their graphic identity and physical environment. The guidelines codify the school’s guiding principles, and establish an overall look and feel for the school’s culture and communications. The primary purpose of these guidelines is to galvanize the school community around shared values, behaviors, and identity and ensure a consistent expression of the school’s identity across culture and communications outputs.

Communication Tools and Methods: An integrated set of communication tools and their corresponding methods for management support the school’s academic, marketing, and fundraising efforts. By conceiving these tools and methods as a holistic system, the school ensures a consistency across its communications and maximizes the efficiency of its communications team. These communication tools include event documentation guidelines, a digital asset management strategy, a custom web application, and a system for print collateral and digital marketing.

Programming and Outreach Playbooks: By building strong alliances, the school fosters a culture of collaboration that enriches student and faculty experiences, addresses local, regional, and global challenges, and cultivates a pipeline of diverse students that can engage in groundbreaking research. The playbooks establish the school's strategic priorities, develop partnership programs that align the school’s mission with its operational capacities, and build the tools necessary for local and global collaborations.

Studio Of's culture and communications strategy for the USC School of Architecture would equip the school with the communication tools and methodologies to promote a grand vision for the architectural practice and education, seeding the school's position as a preeminent academic cultural institution.

To become an academic cultural institution,
USC Architecture required not only a rebrand of the School, but also the tools and methods to promote a grand vision for architectural practice and education.

To become an academic cultural institution,
USC Architecture required not only a rebrand of the School, but also the tools and methods to promote a grand vision for architectural practice and education.

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STUDIO FOR ORGANIZATIONAL FUTURES
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

©2018 STUDIO FOR ORGANIZATIONAL FUTURES, LLC
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

STUDIO FOR ORGANIZATIONAL FUTURES
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

© 2019 · PRIVACY POLICY

© 2018 · PRIVACY POLICY